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Potato Pancakes with Smoked Salmon and a Toppings Bar

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These loaded potato pancakes make an incredible Sunday brunch. Make all of the toppings, whip up some potato pancakes, and let each person decide how they want to dress theirs up.

  1. Make some potato pancakes
  2. Top 'em with smoked salmon
  3. Add whatever toppings make you happy! Try different combos! 

Spiced Yogurt with Cucumber & Garlic

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This is a riff on Greek tzatziki, which has some things in common with Indian raita. It's a combination of yogurt and cucumber, with some spices mixed in. As with many of our recipes, it's very flexible, and you can change it to suit your palate, and your mood. This is a very basic, rustic version of the recipe, but if you'd like, you could make it a little more elegant by starting with strained yogurt, or by salting the cucumber, letting them sit for a while, and squeezing them out a bit before adding them to the yogurt.

I use this as a topping for potato pancakes, as a cooling ingredient on spicy meat or bean dishes, or eaten alone, as a snack. 

  • 1/2 of a slicing cucumber
  • 2 cups yogurt, or strained yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon olive or walnut oil
  • Herbs and spices to taste: I used dill, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper. Cayenne would be a great addition if you like heat. Ground caraway seed would be excellent, too. 
  1. Rinse the cucumber, and grate it on the largest side of a box grater. 
  2. Mix the cucumber and yogurt. 
  3. Add oil and season to taste. 

Goat Cheese with Scallion & Lemon

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This delicious concoction has many uses. Toss it with hot, fresh pasta and it will turn into a light, creamy sauce. Spread it on sandwiches, or slices of toast. Use it to stuff ravioli. Put it on an omelette, or on a salad. Eat it with a spoon. 

  • 8 ounces chevre
  • a glug of olive oil, or walnut oil
  • The zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 scallions (I actually used the leaves of wild leeks when I made this. You could also use shallot, chives, or garlic, in place of the scallion).
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Dump the chevre into a bowl. 
  2. Add some oil, I use about a tablespoon, and the lemon zest and juice
  3. Rinse the scallions and slice the green leaves into little rounds, reserving the white bulbs for another use (or throw it all in...it will be great either way). If you're using another allium, such as garlic or shallot, mince it before adding.
  4. Add some salt and pepper, and stir it all up. 
  5. Taste the concoction. Would you like it to be more tangy? If so, add more lemon juice, or a splash of vinegar. Does it need salt or pepper? Add some more. You could even get really wild and mix in some hot sauce, or kimchi brine, or anything else you desire. 

Wilted Collards

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This technique can be used for pretty much any green: think mustard, kale, chard, spinach, etc. I like to make batches of wilted greens, and put them on omelettes, add them to soup, or freeze them for later. They can become one of the layers in a cottage pie. I also eat them as a simple side dish.  

  • 1 pound collard greens
  • 1 tablespoon butter or olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • lemon juice or vinegar
  1. Wash the collards and strip them from their stems. Cut them stems into pieces.
  2. Roll up the leaves in one big bunch, and cut across the bundle to form strips (the fancy French term for this is "chiffonade.")
  3. With the burner on medium, heat the butter or oil in a large, heavy bottomed saucepan. 
  4. When the fat is hot, add the stems and a sprinkling of salt, and cook until tender.
  5. Then, add the leaves, and continue cooking until the leaves have turned an even, deep green, and are also tender. 
  6. Taste, add salt and pepper as needed, and finish with a squeeze of lemon juice.
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Rhubarb-Berry Crisp

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Tart and tangy rhubarb is one of the harbingers of spring. Rhubarb and strawberry is a classic combination, but rhubarb also goes extremely well with raspberries, apples, cherries, and pear. If you don't have much time, chop your rhubarb, put it in a pan with water and some sugar, and cook it into a sauce. If you do have time, make a crisp...

  • 1 pound rhubarb
  • 5 ounces or more frozen raspberries, or any other berry or fruit of your choice
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup, or 1/2 cup sugar (you may want to add more, to taste)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon (cardamom, ginger, and pepper also go well with rhubarb. Add them if you wish!)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon organic cornstarch (optional, this is used to thicken the liquid from the fruit)
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 stick butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and butter a 9x13 glass baking dish. 
  2. Rinse the rhubarb, cut the stalks in half to shorten them, and cut each half into quarters, lengthwise. Make 1/4-inch slices across the quarters. In your baking dish, combine the rhubarb slices with whole berries, or chopped apples or pears. 
  3. Add maple syrup or sugar to the fruit, as well as the spices, vanilla, and cornstarch, if you're using it. Stir well with your (clean!) hands, or with a spoon or spatula, until all items are evenly distributed. 
  4. In a bowl, combine the oats, butter, sugar, cinnamon and salt. Squish it all together with your hands, or do it the hard way and use a wooden spoon. Taste a little...does it need more salt, sugar, or cinnamon? 
  5. Sprinkle the oat topping over the fruit. 
  6. Bake the crisp until the topping is golden brown, and the fruit is simmering when you open the oven. I like to check it after 30 minutes, but it may take 40.

Seared Steak

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A basic recipe for a slab of meat! 

  • a steak, pork chop, chicken leg, or what have you
  • salt
  • pepper
  • oil
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Remove the meat from its package, and using paper towels or a clean kitchen towel, pat it dry. 
  3. Liberally season both sides of the meat with salt and pepper. 
  4. Heat a large, heavy bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat. If you have a kitchen fan, turn it on. 
  5. When the pan is hot, add the oil. When the oil shimmers, gently place the meat in the pan. If you have more than one piece, arrange them so they're not touching. Try not to move the meat around once you've put it down.
  6. Cook until the meat is seared on the first side. When it is, you will find that it will easily release itself from the pan. 
  7. Flip the meat, turn off the burner, and place the pan in the oven.
  8. The cooking time will depend on the size of the steak/chop/leg, and how well done you wish it to be. You can use a thermometer to "temp" the meat, if you'd like. 
  9. When the meat is done, remove it from the pan, and let it rest. You can now deglaze the pan and make a sauce, if you wish. 

Sautéed Mushrooms

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Sautéed mushrooms are incredibly versatile. They can be used in omelettes, as a topping on burgers, to garnish salads or vegetable dishes, atop seared meats, or simply eaten as a side dish.

  • mushrooms
  • butter or olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper
  1. Rinse the mushrooms, pull out the stems and save them for stock (I keep a "stockpile" in my freezer, in which I save bones and veggie scraps. When I have enough, I make a batch). Slice the mushroom caps. 
  2. Heat the fat in a large saucepan, and when hot, add the mushrooms, and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are tender, and slightly browned. 
  3. Use in whatever way suits your fancy. 

Pan Sauce for Steak, Pork Chops or Chicken

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If you keep stock in your freezer, you can make a pan sauce at a moment's notice. It's a quick way to add incredible flavor to simple food.

  • A pan in which you've just cooked something flavorful, such as mushrooms, caramelized onions, or seared meat.
  • stock (meat stock works best, because it includes gelatin and collagen) 
  • butter
  • salt
  • pepper
  • an acidic ingredient, such as vinegar or lemon juice
  • any other spices or herbs you desire
  1. While the pan is still hot, pour in a couple cups of stock (or more, depending on how much sauce you wish to make).
  2. Simmer the sauce and let it reduce until it thickens and has the consistency of a glaze.
  3. Turn off the pan, add a couple tablespoons of butter, and whisk until the butter is incorporated. This is called "mounting the sauce." When the butter has melted and been whisked in, the sauce will be nice and glossy, and thick.
  4. Taste the sauce, and season. It's great to use acidity and salt to balance out the flavors, and make them sing. Add a little bit at a time, tasting after each addition, until the sauce is glorious. 
  5. Serve over whatever you'd originally cooked in the pan, or anything that would be more delicious with sauce than without it.

 

Roasted Potatoes with Chimchurri

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This is a super simple recipe that yields a very flavorful result. Just toss together roasted potatoes with chimichurri (either homemade, or from our Omnivore Package), and serve.

  • red potatoes
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper
  • chimichurri
  1. Preheat the oven to 425-degrees.
  2. Wash the potatoes, and cut into similar-sized pieces. (I often cut them potatoes into 16ths when I'm roasting them, but it all depends on the 'tater. Uniformity is more important than size).
  3. If you have parchment paper*, place some on your baking sheet. If not, you can do without. 
  4. Put the potatoes on the baking sheet, and toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper. The potato pieces should be nicely coated with oil.
  5. Bake, stirring every 15 minutes, until potatoes are tender. Remove from oven, and immediately toss with chimichurri (seasoning the potatoes when their hot helps the flavor to penetrate). Serve hot, or at room temperature. 

*parchment paper is an incredible boon in the kitchen. It prevents food from sticking, which can be wasteful, and makes cleanup easier. If parchment isn't oil soaked, it can be reused. 

Mesclun Salad with European Cucumber & Sunflower Vinaigrette

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I love putting edible flowers on salads. In spring, this might mean adding a handful of violets, or sprinkling on dandelion petals. In summer, borage and nasturtium are favorites. They never fail to make people smile. 

Like many recipes, this one is flexible. Pick as bowl that will hold the amount of salad you think you need to feed the number of people you're feeding, and fill it up with ingredients. Let people dress their own at the table, so the greens don't wilt. 

  • baby lettuce, mesclun mix, or head lettuce
  • cucumber
  • sunflower shoots
  • edible flowers, if desired
  • sunflower vinaigrette
  1. Wash the greens, dry them in a salad spinner, and tear them into bite-sized pieces
  2. Rinse the cucumber, and cut off the amount you wish to use, slice it in half lengthwise, and cut into half moons.
  3. Rinse the sunflower shoots, and dry them. 
  4. Place the salad greens in a bowl, top with cucumbers and sunflower shoots, and place the edible flowers on top.
  5. Serve with the dressing on the side. 
  6. Make sure you have salt on the table, as salad can often use an extra sprinkle* 

*fun fact: "salad" means "salted." The Romans seasoned their greens with brine, or with a salted oil and vinegar mixture, and the name stuck. 

Sunflower Vinaigrette

This salad dressing is nutty, with a hint of garlic. It's a great match for baby lettuce, cheddar cheese, cucumbers, and apples. 

  • 1 cup oil (I like to use 2/3 cup sunflower oil and 1 cup olive oil)
  • 1/3 cup of cider or white wine vinegar, or lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup toasted sunflower seeds
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons mustard
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • a few grinds of fresh pepper
  1. This recipe is best made in a food processor or blender, because you're mixing in toasted sunflower seeds. All you need to do is combine the ingredients and blend until uniform. 
  2. Taste the dressing, and see if you like the level of seasoning. Add more salt, or pepper, or mustard, or garlic, as desired.

Sausage, Bean & Chard Soup

Sausage, Bean & Chard Soup

The roasted vegetable stock you received in your share makes this recipe a snap. Are you a vegetarian? This soup is excellent without the sausage, too.

  • 1 container vegetable stock (you can always substitute your own stock, veggie, chicken, or any other kind!)
  • 1 package hot Italian sausage
  • 1 container white beans (if you don't have beans from your share, you can substitute any other cooked beans, of any color or type).
  • 1 bunch chard (you could also use kale, escarole, or nearly any other kind of braising green)
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. In a medium pot, bring stock to a simmer.
  2. While the stock is heating, cut the casings from the sausages, and crumble the meat into the pot. 
  3. Add the white beans to the pot.
  4. Strip the chard from its stems, rinse, and pull or cut into bite-sized pieces. When the stock has come to a a simmer, and the meat is cooked through, add the chard to the pot. 
  5. Simmer until the chard is bright green and tender. When it's done, turn off the heat. 
  6. Add the lemon juice, taste the broth, and season with salt and pepper to taste. If the soup isn't tangy enough you could add more lemon juice if you have it, or use a splash of vinegar. 

Cucumber Salad

Cucumber Salad

If there's one cucumber dish that's quicker to make than quick pickles, it's cucumber salad! This variation includes dill, shallot, and some lemon zest, which gives the salad a refreshing flavor that's perfect for spring. 

  • 1 European cucumber
  • a couple sprigs fresh dill
  • 1/2 shallot
  • 1 lemon
  • 3 tablespoons vinegar (white wine or champagne vinegar would great, as would cider vinegar)
  • 1 tablespoon oil (we used walnut oil left over from our strained yogurt recipe, but you could also use olive oil, sunflower oil, or sesame oil)
  • salt 
  • a few grinds of pepper
  1. Wash the cucumber, and slice thin with a knife or on a mandolin. Put the cucumber slices in a salad bowl.
  2. Mince the dill, and the shallot, and add them to the cucumber.
  3. With the small side of a box grater, or with a Microplane grater, zest the lemon, working gently enough to remove the yellow skin, but leave the white pith behind.
  4. Add the lemon zest to the salad. Reserve the rest of the lemon to use in another recipe (such as Sausage, Bean & Chard soup). 
  5. Pour on the vinegar and oil, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Let sit for 15 minutes, up to one day, before serving. 

Smashed Potatoes with Sour Cream & Chives

Smashed Potatoes with Sour Cream & Chives

Potato and chive is a wonderful combination, and this simple recipe gives you all of the delicious flavors of a loaded baked potato, without needing to have your oven on for an hour. 

  • 2 pounds golden potatoes
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 bunch chives
  • grating cheese, such as cheddar, or Parmesan
  • butter
  • sour cream
  • pepper
  • optional: cooked and crumbled bacon
  1. Put a large pot of salted water on to boil. 
  2. Check out your potatoes. Are they similar in size, or are they all different sizes? If the latter, cut the bigger potatoes in halves or quarters to match the size of the smaller potatoes (the goal is that they will all cook in approximately the same amount of time). 
  3. As soon as the potatoes are cut, add them to the water. Doesn't matter if it's still cold, or already boiling.
  4. While the potatoes are cooking, preheat the broiler of your oven, on high. 
  5. Slice across the bundle of chives to create tiny little rounds. 
  6. Grate a cup to a cup-and-a-half of cheese.
  7. When the potatoes are cooked through, arrange them in a buttered, 9x13 glass baking dish. If you cut the potatoes to even out the sizes, put them skin-side up. 
  8. When the potatoes are arranged in the dish, smash them a bit with a potato masher, a fork, or any other tool that suits you. Smash them as little or as much as you'd like. The more smashed they are, the more the toppings will mingle with the potato.
  9. Top with pats of butter, dollops of sour cream, and shredded cheese, and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and chives. If you're using bacon, you can add that now, too.
  10. Broil until the cheese has melted and started to bubble. 

 

Chicken Salad Sandwiches with Caramelized Apples & Cheddar Cheese

Chicken Salad Sandwiches

The combination of chicken, mayonnaise, apples, and cheddar really make this sandwich shine. The pea shoots add a nice crunch to the mix.

  1. Preheat the oven to 375.
  2. Place the slices of bread on a baking sheet, and brush the top side with olive oil or smear with butter.
  3. Toast the bread in the oven until the top has just started to turn golden. Meanwhile, slice the cheese.
  4. Turn the bread, and top half of the pieces with cheese. Toast the second side until the cheese is melted and bubbly. 
  5. When the bread is done, remove from the oven and turn off the heat. 
  6. Top the cheesy bread slices with caramelized apple slices, top with chicken salad, and garnish with pea shoots. Place the plain bread slices on top. 

Kneaded Kale Salad

Kneaded kale salad

When you want a change from steamed kale, a kneaded kale salad is a great alternative. This variation can be tossed with any vinaigrette of your choice, and garnished with chopped apricots and toasted sunflower seeds, but you could use any toppings that please you. 

  • 1 bunch kale
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • your favorite vinaigrette
  • unsulfured apricots (usually, these can be found in the bulk section of your favorite co-op. They are much more delicious than sulfured apricots)
  • toasted, salted sunflower seeds
  1. Strip the kale from its stems, rinse, and spin dry (if you don't have a salad spinner, shake the water out of the kale as well as you can).
  2. Tear the kale into bite-sized pieces, and place them in a large salad bowl. Add a teaspoon of salt, and knead the kale with your hands to tenderize it slightly, and break down some of the cell walls.
  3. Chop the apricots, and mix with the kale. 
  4. Dress the kale and apricots with vinaigrette, season to taste, and top with toasted sunflower seeds.

Chicken Salad

Chicken Salad

A couple weeks ago, we showed you how to make homemade mayonnaise. If you'd like, you can do that for this recipe, too. We mixed tarragon into our chicken salad, but you can use any herbs or spices that you'd like. Celery is a great addition to chicken salad, as are dried fruits and toasted nuts. Get as creative as you'd like! 

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower or olive oil
  • 2/3 cup mayo, either homemade or store bought
  1. Preheat the oven to 400-degrees. 
  2. Remove the chicken breasts from the package and pat dry with paper towels or a clean kitchen towel (if you use a kitchen towel, make sure to put it in the laundry thereafter). Season both sides of the meat with salt and pepper.
  3. Heat the oil in an all-metal pan over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the chicken to the pan. When it has browned on the first side, flip it onto the other side, turn off the burner, and place the pan in the oven. Cook the chicken until the internal temperature reaches 160. If you don't have a food thermometer, try pressing on the meat. If it feels firm all the way through, it is done. Another test: poke halfway into the breast with a skewer or the point of a knife. If the juices that seep out are clear, it's done. 
  4. Remove from the oven, turn off the heat, and let the chicken cool. If you're making the mayo from scratch, this would be the perfect time to do it. 
  5. Cut the chicken into cubes and combine with the mayonnaise. If you're using store-bought mayo, you may want to season it up with salt, pepper, mustard, herbs, and spices. 

Caramelized Apples

Caramelized Apples

Caramelized apples are a great addition to sandwiches and salads. You could also chop them and add them to yogurt, or ice cream. 

  • 4 apples
  • sunflower oil, or another oil you prefer
  • salt to taste
  1. Wash apples and remove the cores. You can use an apple corer if you have one. If not, you can cut the apple into quarter-inch slices, and use a melon baller or a pairing knife to remove the pieces of core.
  2. If you used an apple corer, go ahead and cut the apple into quarter-inch slices.
  3. Put the oil in a saucepan, and place it over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add apple slices one at a time, until you have a single layer. Sprinkle with salt. Cook until the bottom has browned, slightly, and flip the apples. When the second side has browned, remove the apples from the pan.
  4. If you have additional apples, do another batch. Continue until all of the apples are cooked. 

Roasted Carrots with Strained Yogurt & Honey

Carrots with Strained Yogurt and Honey
  • 4 large carrots
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 2/3 cup walnuts
  • strained yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Wash carrots and cut them at a slight angle so that you get as much surface area as possible (called cutting on the bias). 
  3. Toss the carrots with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place the carrots on a baking sheet (for easier clean-up, you could line the sheet with parchment, first). 
  4. Roast the carrots until tender, checking every 7 or so minutes. 
  5. Meanwhile, toast the walnuts, which can be done "dry" or with a little bit of oil. You can do this in a pan over medium heat, or in the oven alongside the carrots. Whichever method you choose, make sure to watch the walnuts carefully, and stir them regularly.
  6. When the carrots are done taste them for seasoning, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Put the seasoned carrots on a serving dish, top with dollops of strained yogurt, drizzle on the honey, sprinkle on the cardamom, and serve.

Notes: The cardamom isn't essential, but it brings amazing flavor to the dish. A sprinkling of parsley would be another wonderful addition.